chapter  1
Visible characteristics of objects
Pages 34

At first, it seems obvious that we provide lighting to enable people to see, so that all lighting can be assessed in terms of how well it enables people to see. Lighting that maximizes the luminance contrast of visual detail enables very small detail to be accurately detected, and this is the basis of many lighting recommendations and standards. However, observation of our surroundings shows a much larger range of ways in which objects can differ in appearance. Consider for a moment the judgements that we commonly make in deciding whether a surface is clean and dry; whether fresh fruit is good to eat; or whether a colleague looks tired. These judgements are based on observation of appearance, but what are the differences of appearance that are critical in making these judgements? Any of these everyday assessments of appearance can be influenced by subtle aspects of lighting, and so too can our more complex assessments of the appearance of architectural spaces.